Are you thinking about certifying your dog for breeding? Here are some basic terms and what you should expect.

Breed registry, pedigree, bonitation, bonitation card or bonitation commission, exterior, breeding certification - these are all terms that you will inevitably encounter if you want to have a 'certified' dog, namely a dog with a pedigree. What conditions does a dog have to meet and what awaits you both if you want to have your pet certified for breeding? Here's a short summary.

Breeding certification means that a dog (both sexes) is certified as a breeder. Before a dog is certified for breeding, he must go through "bonitation" and receive a positive result. In short, bonitation is the evaluation of external characteristics, the nature and the health of your dog. This is evaluated by a breeding commission, which is established by a breeding club and is composed of experts on the given breed.

Some cynologists view bonitation as the most important breeding event. However, keep in mind that bonitation is not a dog exhibition. Although these are seemingly similar events to a layman, in reality, they are very different. While exhibitions primarily serve to showcase a certain breed and they have nothing to do with breeding, bonitation is basically a verification that the animal's "exterior" (yes, this term is really used for a dog's outside appearance) and nature correspond with breeding standards.
Before you appear before the commission, you need to prepare properly - study the rules of the breeding club and train your dog for a demonstration on D-Day. 

Once you pass the bonitation evaluation, your dog will receive a bonitation code, which is used to select a suitable counterpart for breeding. Fulfillment of the conditions for breeding is registered in the bonitation card and subsequently also in the pedigree and the breed registry.

What conditions do you need to meet to undergo a bonitation evaluation?

    1. Your dog must have a pedigree. 
    2. Your dog must undergo an X-ray to rule out hip dysplasia.
    3. Your dog must have an 'excellent' or 'very good' grade from a dog show in the Czech Republic.
    4. Your dog must meet appearance, colour, height, teeth, bite and eye colour standards.
    5. Your dog must be at least 12 months old (the minimum age may vary from club to club).
    6. Depending on the breed and future focus, the dog must have necessary certification, such as basic training or other specialized tests for hunting, service, guide, avalanche or rescue dogs.
    7. Swabs are recommended to verify the dog's origin.

What are your responsibilities as the owner of your dog before it is certified for breeding?

    1. The owner must submit the original pedigree and breed registry in order for the dog to be registered as a breeder.
    2. The owner must take the dog for regular veterinary checkups. If the dog becomes seriously ill or a hidden defect or hereditary illness comes to light, the dog's breeding certificate will be cancelled. The same applies in the event of a serious injury. 
    3. The owner must be listed in the pedigree.

Getting your dog certified for breeding is a complicated, long journey, but it's very important to ensure healthy dogs. We would hereby like to thank all breeders and organizations that care about the mental and physical health of dogs.

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